Need revenue? Legalize vice, then tax it

There’s every reason to believe that today’s drug lords could go legit as quickly and easily as, say, Ernest and Julio Gallo, the venerable winemakers who once sold their product to Al Capone. Indeed, here’s a (I hope soon-to-be-legal) bet worth making: If marijuana is legalized, look for the scion of a marijuana plantation operation to be president within 50 years.

Legalizing vice will not balance government deficits by itself — that will largely depend on spending cuts, which seem beyond the reach of all politicians. But in a time when every penny counts and the economy needs stimulation, allowing prostitution, gambling and drugs could give us all a real lift.